Archaeologists Find Pendant Linked to Anne Frank

Anne Frank in 1940
Anne Frank in 1940

Researchers have unearthed a pendant that is very similar to one known to have been worn by Anne Frank. The pendant was discovered while excavating a Nazi death camp.

The experts from Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial team think this pendant may have belonged to Karoline Cohn. It’s possible that Cohn was an acquaintance of Frank’s.

Both young women were born in 1929. Researchers were able to find that based on a date carved in the pendant.

Historians have only found two pendants like these two.

This one is a small, triangle-shaped pendant. It has engraved on one side; “Mazal Tov” (“congratulations,” in Hebrew), Cohn’s birth date and “Frankfurt,” her home city.

The opposite side has the Hebrew letter “Hay,” which often is used to represent God. Around the Hebrew letter are three Stars of David.

Researchers are checking with living relatives of the two girls to see if they could have been related somehow.

Yad Vashem is working with the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), excavating sections of the former Sobibor concentration camp.

The found the pendant at the spot they believe prisoners undressed and had their heads shaved prior to entering the gas chamber.

Other items found at that location are a Star of David necklace and a lady’s watch. Researchers believe the items fell through cracks in the floorboards and were buried.

Cohn was born in Frankfurt on July 3, 1929. On November 11, 1941, she was deported to the ghetto in Minsk.

In September of 1943, the ghetto was liquidated. That is likely when Cohn was moved to the camp at Sobibor.

It is known that Frank owned a pendant that differed only by the date engraved on it.

Yoram Haimi is an archaeologist for the IAA. He led the excavation at Sobibor. He said that the pendant is an example of how important it is for archaeologists to research the former concentration camps.

It is thought that over 250,000 Jews were murdered at Sobibor which is located in eastern Poland. Unlike some Nazi camps that were labor camps, Sobibor was built by the Nazis for the express purpose of killing Jews.

After an uprising in 1943, the Nazis destroyed the camp and planted over it to hide their crimes.

Archaeologists have so far found the gas chamber foundations and a train platform, BBC News reported.

Frank was killed at the Bergen-Belsen camp which is in northern Germany. She died in 1945.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE